Every January, the world’s top tennis players have the opportunity to gather in Australia to attend the first Grand Slam of the year. This tournament, taking place in the mid-summer of Australia, is an opportunity for athletes to challenge after training and head towards the final Grand Slam tournament – the US Open will take place in September.
The Australian Open tennis tournament took place for the first time in 1905 under the name of the Australian Championship. Then in 1969, the tournament was renamed the Australian Open. On the first days of taking place, the event was held alternately in many different Australian cities. From 1972 up to now, it is officially held annually in Melbourne.
The Australian Open is the only tennis tournament ever to take place in another country, specifically in New Zealand in 1906 and 1912.
As noted above, the tournament takes place during the summer in Australia. At this time, outdoor temperatures are usually above 40° C (more than 100°F). At the 2007 tournament, the temperature was even so high that many athletes had to be given water infusion.
Today, the tournament has new regulations to better suit hot weather conditions. Accordingly, the judges have the right to postpone the game if the temperature suddenly increases. Mobile awnings are also installed on the field, in case of unusually high temperatures.
Summer temperatures in Australia can be so high that a tennis ball shrinks or expands, causing them to deviate after they hit the net.
This tournament has surprised many people as the youngest and oldest champions are the same person. That is Mr. Ken Rosewall. He won the tournament in 1953 at the age of 18 and won again in 1972 at the age of 37. The youngest female champion of the Australian Open is Martina Hingis. She won the championship in 1997 at the age of 16.
The numbers speak
It is estimated that over 40,000 Wilson racquets are used each year at the Australian Open. More impressively, up to 160,000 ice cream and 37,000 BBQ sausages are consumed by fans each season.
Every year, more than half a million fans come to watch the tournament. In 2007, it hit a record with 554,858 fans. At the same time, there are about 300 male and female athletes participating in the tournament each year. These are impressive numbers for a tournament that is considered Australia’s oldest history.